Over the past years, many clients asked "Why has my trademark expired?" "Is there any way to 'resurrect' the trademark?" "Isn't the trademark valid forever?" So today, let me explain in detail about the "shelf life" of trademarks.
Article 39 of China Trademark Law stipulates that a registered trademark is valid for ten years, counting from the date of approval for registration.
Take the following trademark as an example. The registration date of the trademark is June 21, 2017, and the trademark is valid from June 21, 2017 to June 20, 2027.
So what should we do after the trademark expires? Don't worry, there are laws to follow~
Article 40 of China Trademark Law stipulates that if a registered trademark expires and needs to be used continuously, the trademark registrant shall go through the renewal procedures in accordance with the regulations within twelve months before the expiration date; those who fail to do so within this period may be given a grace period of six months. The period of validity of each renewed registration is ten years, calculated from the day after the expiration of the previous period of validity of the trademark. If the renewal procedures are not handled upon the expiration of the period, the registered trademark shall be cancelled.
Still take the above trademark as an example, that is to say, the applicant can submit a renewal application for this trademark to the National Intellectual Property Administration, PRC from June 21, 2026 to June 20, 2027. After the trademark renewal is approved, the validity period of each trademark is automatically extended into the next ten years, and so on.
What needs to be reminded is that even if the applicant fails to submit the renewal application in time on or before June 20, 2027, it can still be remedied. According to the provisions of Article 40 of China Trademark Law, we still have a grace period of six months, which means that the deadline for submitting the renewal application for the above-mentioned trademark is December 20, 2027. If the applicant misses this final "deadline" again, it will really be powerless, and the trademark will not be "resurrected".
We just want to remind everyone that you must not underestimate the "shelf life" of trademarks. Many applicants register trademarks at the beginning just to lay out their brand IP in advance, and do not intend to start using trademarks immediately. After the trademark is approved for registration, there is no intention to use it or for other reasons, over time, the registered trademarks become idle resources, and the applicant may even forget the fact that they own certain trademark rights. When the applicant plans to start using or suddenly remembers their trademark, the above problems will appear. "Why has my trademark expired?" "Is there any way to 'resurrect' the trademark?" "Isn't the trademark valid forever?" At this time, it may be even more difficult to "own" the same trademark again.
It is a very correct decision to make an IP layout for the brand early, but you must not let yourself "forget" the existence of a trademark. Finding a reliable and professional agency for you is also a good way to effectively avoid such problems.
A professional agency will not only give advice on your IP layout, but also provide you with long-term and effective trademark monitoring, so that your trademark will never miss the "shelf life".